Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bliss on tour

Bliss went with us on tour last Sunday. With 4 wheels in the car and a roller girl in tow, I set off for Westerlee, for the Alpaca Show. And even though we knew we were heading for an alpaca farm, the sight of a field full of alpacas is always a suprise...


The Alpaca Show was all about shearing...


... judging...


... and, in our case, spinning alpaca!


Bliss enjoyed her first outing! And quite a few people got to try her out. The reviews were mixed. The spinning was lauded by everyone. 


Like me, people found the spinning smooth, comfortable and light. But the type of wheel just doesn't appeal to everyone. People who prefer the old-style, romantic wheels, just won't go for a modern, light wheel in laminated wood like Bliss as quickly...

But why were we there? Mainly to promote the Landelijke Spingroep. It was great fun showing people that yes, we still spin, and no, it's not silly or old-fashioned or dreary, but a useful skill. We sold quite a few spindles and welcomed a new member. 


Obviously, I wasn't there on my own... There was Hannah behind the blending board...


Froukje had brought her wheel and a few beautiful spindles...


 Titia didn't bring her Country Spinner this time, but spun away on her Louet S10.


And in the afternoon, Wilma also joined the club.


Because we were with a nice group, we all got the opportunity to snoop around, have a cuddle with some alpacas and just enjoy the day.
It was a shame the space was a bit limited, because I only got to show some spindles, Bliss and Victoria, and didn't get to show off the other wheels I brought - better luck next time!

Our wee princess... 

And some more pictures of alpacas! We even managed to smuggle one home... Well, a small one. And a small sheep, to hang of the rearview mirrow, just to make sure that every car we meet knows we're spinners!






Monday, April 22, 2013

Assembly time!

After an afternoon of running up and down the street, to see whether the neighbour where my Bliss had been delivered (just when I went to school to pick the kids up - go figure) was home, I finally got her in after she had walked the dog after work. Tadaaaaaa! A big box!!!


A big flat box. Me and the box went to the spinning group. I was looking forward to opening it up with the girls... But, the group was very lonely tonight :(, just me... And when I opened it, this:


I put all the parts on the table, rang DD to ask her to come over and give me a quick hand...


As a true IKEA fan, this pack didn't phase me at all. A great detail was the inclusion of the screw driver and all the necessary assembly tools. Nice touch, people at Woolmakers! Within the hour, Bliss was assembled and ready for action...


So, back home we went, to put her to the test...


Thin spinning, check...


Plying, check...


And a skein done!

The next morning, Bliss had a wee tea party with her sisters... I was planning to part with two wheels, but they're still part of the family...


And now, some technical geekiness... What does the Bliss not have that the other Louet wheels do??
Look at that flyer! It's weird to have the axle of the pulley attached to the back post and then clicking the bobbin and flyer on to it...
I did also try spinning with the regular Louet Victoria bobbins. It's doable, but requires a bit more adjustments. More on that front later!


Right, off to play some more!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bliss!

After receiving a free wheel from a mom at school, I found Gloria in a thrift shop superstore last week.



She's a Wernekinck Gouda, I've heard from reliable sources.
The only thing wrong with her was a loose foot peddle. And that was easily sorted. She is getting on well with Rapunzel! They are exchanging some exciting spinning stories at the moment...

Me and Gloria are still trying to figure each other out. She's a puller, and I'm a low-pull girl, so let me say that we haven't really 'found' each other yet... There will be a few more days of testing the waters, but if I'm not happy with how it's going, she'll be coming to Westerlee with me on Sunday with a For Sale-sign...

The reason I am thinking about selling Gloria on is this: I'm getting a Woolmakers Bliss! This is so exciting! I get to test a brand-new type of spinning wheel, together with another dozen lucky bunnies, all around the world. My Bliss is in the post at the moment, so more news on that front soon...

I've been carding my heart out last weekend. After scouring and dyeing some Frisian milking sheep, the new XL drum carder was put into motion...


These lovely colours, plus a super nice yellow, are available in the Peeriewinkle Etsy store!


Monday, April 1, 2013

The eagle has landed...

After the trade show in Zwolle, a few weeks ago, where I helped out at the Wereldwol stand, last weekend it was time for another yarn and fiber event, the Brei- & Haakdagen, held in Nieuwegein. This time, I decided to split myself up between both the National Spinning Group and Wereldwol, plús giving workshops on both days.
Luckily, my work schedule worked out just right, and I had an entire afternoon left over to pack, get the house sort of organized, try out the workshop in my head and write down what I had to take with me. At the last minute, a 10yo girl was added to that list, as Mermaid really wanted to help out at the stand, when she heard I was mostly going to be demonstrating the blending board.
So, instead of me, passing visitors were greeted by this beauty playing about with fibre and sparkles.


And be honest, if a wee girl looks at you like this...


Who can resist... She sold quite a lot of rolls, and spent a bit of her takings on more Zpagetti yarn, which she loves to transform into long chains on her Lucet fork. It's a great way to relax, she says.


 And who can disagree with that? I do this to relax... I spin and spindle... Sitting down or, like at the trade show, standing up... There were quite a lot of people interested in the different types of spindles!


And quite a few people also joined me for the spindling workshop. 13 on the first day, and 9 on the second. I was well impressed! More than half of them actually bought a spindle as well, and quite a few were enticed into buying lots of lovely fibre to play with...


Janet, the organizer of the event and also a great photographer, managed to take a photo of me actually standing still for a second ;) 


My workshop was part of a larger event, all with the focus on colour, organized by talented yarn dyer Loret Karman. She took the workshop as well on day 2 and says she's going to hate me forever for introducing her to another fun hobby ;) Thanks, love, you're welcome!


The yarns you see are by her, the picture is by one of the most promising young designers in the Netherlands, Leslie Eisinger. She was also wearing a gorgeous knit dress she designed herself. Talent to be truely jealous of... ;)


After a hard day's work, we got back to the hotel, where we had booked two rooms. One for me and the Mermaid, and one for the Hubby and Batman. They had a great day as well: they came down to Utrecht on the train and shopped for dice, books and games. As gamers do ;)


The Pink Romans I finished the night before got some well-deserved rest as well...


And Mermaid finished another Zpagetti necklace...


The next morning, it was off to Wereldwol, where I joined Marieke and Joyce for another day 'at the office'.


These crazy ladies and I had a great day! Thanks again, also for the lovely knitting needles and lace yarn I got for helping out. It was a pleasure!!!


And of course I came home with more roving than I needed, and a new drum carder, but it is all part of a bigger plan... Because when I got home, there was an order in the mail! I had put some of the rolags I made for sale on Ravelry, and someone in Britain wanted to buy them. I took it as a sign, and we spent yesterday and today making and photographing rolags and batts, we opened a Gmail and Twitter account and voila... an Etsy store was born!


Our own website-webstore is still in the making, but we've got a platform to really start trading now. And then today, an hour after opening the doors to the Etsy store, this arrived in my e-mail...


My first Etsy order! Sooo proud!!! Me and the hubby are celebrating this with a glass of clear tap water and a cracker with very, very, very smelly cheese! Tomorrow it's to the wholesaler's to buy envelopes and grip bags, because we want to send our products off in style.

Oh, want to have a look? Of course, you're welcome. Our shop is called Peeriewinkle (more about that later), and when you click here you can hop in to browse around. More products will be uploaded soon and the Hubby is working hard on some cool T-shirts while finishing off our own site as well. And yes, there will be a section for Mermaid's creations. So if you want to buy her rolags and necklaces, you'll have to patient just a little while longer...

Now, time to get organized for another workshop next Friday: crochet for beginners at Het Breiparadijs. Looking forward to it!